On a Road Trip - Should You Rent or Drive Your Own Car from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Champagne Style Bare Budget

Whether you’re preparing for a month-long exploration of a new destination or you simply want to go see your family for the holidays, a road trip can be one of the most rewarding ways to tackle the journey and have some fun! However, now that you’ve prepared your itinerary, you know what you’ll pack and the budget you have at your disposal, how on Earth can you know if it makes more sense for your budget to book a rental vehicle or take your own on the road?

Let’s simplify this decision by breaking it down into the most vital factors you’ll need to consider so that you can make the best call for you and your road trip companions!

Who’s coming?

On a Road Trip - Should You Rent or Drive Your Own Car from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Champagne Style Bare Budget

You can instantly tell if a road trip will be a fun, relaxing one where you can swap seats when you get tired with another reliable driver or if it’s going to be a challenge with toddlers getting bored every hour or so. Add to that your previous road trip experience, from two different perspectives. First, has your personal car proven reliable and durable for such occasions? And second, have your little ones traveled such long distances before?

Traveling with kids is often a messy experience, so you may want to take cleaning expenses into account and how the rental agency handles young travelers. Handling an entirely new vehicle and keeping an eye on your kids might be too much, so sticking to a trusty ride of your own could be a better option. In case your car isn’t as reliable as it should be, by all means, you should provide yourself and your family with the most secure alternative there is!

Deals to Look For

On a Road Trip - Should You Rent or Drive Your Own Car from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Champagne Style Bare Budget

Ever since Uber and similar transportation companies have surfaced and taken over the spotlight, both traditional transportation services and rental agencies have had to put forth more benefits for their customers. This has also become possible thanks to so many tech advancements which make it simpler to find a more affordable ride from a rental place than purchasing a car of your own, especially if you don’t have an everyday need for a vehicle.

While you’re researching the offers, you can find cheap car hire options that will include small rentals perfect for a compact journey as well as larger options for more travel companions. They will also frequently offer very affordable deals, discounts, and extras that come with the regular price, so it’s best to shop around and take your time to find the best match. Look out for special holiday offers and various insurance options, and keep in mind that longer trips often cost less than renting a car for just a day or two.

Fuel Efficiency Front and Center

The key factor that will help you determine which of the two is the best option for your travel plan is how much you need to invest in the fuel for this endeavor. All comfort and convenience of your personal car aside, modern car hire agencies now have eco-friendly and fuel-efficient options on offer, not just the traditional wheels we’re used to.

Also, take into account all the repairs you might need to make before your road trip with your own vehicle, which may set you back financially only to save a few dollars on the gas. Chances are, your mileage may not be all that different from that of a rental, but the additional repair costs can pack a punch on your budget.

Think about Long-Term Costs

On a Road Trip - Should You Rent or Drive Your Own Car from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Champagne Style Bare Budget

Ultimately, owning a vehicle is a commitment. It requires regular maintenance, and the wear and tear of long rides such as the one you’re preparing for can be quite pricey down the road. What you may not see now as an expense can later show up in the form of new tires or even a brand new battery. Of course, regular maintenance fees are something every car owner has to take into account, but adding mileage from a lengthy road trip might just be too much for your family vehicle.


Of course, there is no cookie-cutter answer for all itineraries and all situations. However, it can often be better to leave your personal car keys at home and opt for a rental that would cut your expenses significantly and provide the same safety perks. Before you make up your mind, do your homework, talk to agencies in your vicinity and see what makes the most sense for your next adventure!

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